Is spam still in decline?

When I launched dammit, based on previous experience, I expected  a flood of comment spam.

But it didn’t happen and credit has to go to Akismet which  is  currently claiming  a   99 point 2 percent  reduction on dammit.

I have no way of knowing  whether or not this claim is accurate, but it could well be 🙂

Back in the day, comment spam, whereby people posted real or spurious remarks  containing blatant ads,  or simply  non-relevant links to their own blog, used to be a major problem.  But  it’s now truly a thing of the past,  and the same applies to  email spam, thanks to great filtering  on the part of my ISP.

Unsolicited,  unwanted junk mail, used to be a huge problem. These days, though,  only  the occasional 419  or other  scam-mail sneaks through. The  only recent example of this was  someone touting his Youtube  Christmas song.

Meanwhile, “ the amount of junk e-mail being sent across the globe has seen a dramatic fall in recent months, said  the BBC  in January this year.

The volume of spam has dropped steadily since August, but the Christmas period saw a precipitous decline, it says.

Around the Christmas holidays, three of the largest spam producers curtailed their activity, Paul Wood, a senior analyst at Symantec Hosted Services told BBC News.

“But it’s hard to say why,” he added.

The vast majority of spam is sent by networks of infected computers known as botnets.

One of these botnets, known as Rustock, was at its peak responsible for between 47% to 48% of all spam sent globally, said Mr Wood.

In December, Rustock was responsible for just 0.5% of global spam, he said.

At the same time, two other prominent spamming botnets, Lethic and Xarvester, also went quiet.

There have been huge drops in spam levels before, said Wood.

One security firm detected around 200 billion spam messages being sent each day in August, but just 50 billion in December, the story adds.

Could it be because in 2011 criminals  “shifted away from building up botnet armies in favor of launching targeted attacks on specific corporate networks”? — wonders eweek.

Be that as it may,  the amount of junk mail  arriving in  traditional inboxes  doesn’t seem to have abated with  giant US advertising firm Google  joining their ranks.

Spam the company, meanwhile  is now taking  negative references to his product  in its stride.  In fact,  it now has a Spam 101  section 😉

Forged from ‘spiced`

So what’s  Spam all about?

To some Britons, especially those 50 and older, it`s a word forged from ‘spiced` and `ham` to represent, pink, chopped ham and pork rammed into square tins, as the The Guardian once described it.

During WWII its maker, Hormel Foods, gave allied troops 15 million cans a week, says the Hormel web site.

But to the online generations, spam means garbage promo emails, adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which a group of Vikings sang a chorus of `SPAM, SPAM, SPAM . . . ` in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation, says Hormel`s legal & copyright info section.

Hormel got a little upset when I used various presentations of the companies spam cans in posts mentioning spam — the ejunque kind, that is.

Said company lawyer Kevin Jones said in an email:

We recently became aware of your Web site and your use of our SPAM® product image, with the ban symbol over it, which is used on your site in a manner that draws a close association, and a negative one at that, between our famous trademark SPAM for meat and other products and the practice of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE) (spam), .

While we oppose UCE, we object to your visual use of our product as a symbol of UCE. We have a policy of keeping our product image separate from information on spam or UCE. The reason for this is that we do not want to increase the connection or association between our product and the very negative image arising from this disfavored practice. It`s bad enough that the same word is used; it is even worse when our product image gets dragged in, as well.

Fair enough. And around the same time, Monty Python’s Spamalot, the musical comedy “lovingly ripped off from” the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, as the Wikipedia puts it, had just opened and predictably, it featured a golden Spam can — with Hormel’s permission.

I agreed to stop using Spam, the real one, and asked Kevin if in return, he’d be cool with sending me a Spamalot Spam Can in return, which he kindly agreed to do.

It still sits in a  place of honour beside my computer. ;)

Meanwhile, below is the now-famous Monty Python Viking spam skit which started it all >>>


Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi …